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MOORESTOWN’S ON-RAMP TO THE INFORMATION HIGHWAY
Randy Abidin invented the internet…for Moorestown. Conceiving, building and launching the township’s first internet presence was the cornerstone of Abidin’s decades of community service for the municipality. He has also served on numerous committees and boards and is an active civic volunteer on many levels—but ushering the township into the internet age has been his pivotal role.
The electrical engineer and IT strategic planner for Lockheed Martin moved to the township 30 years ago and immediately got involved in giving back to the community. In 1992 the father of two ran for and was elected to the public school board, where he served for three years. When the World Wide Web made its debut to the public in 1992-93, Abidin was inspired to build a social network or website that the school system could use to relay information. He then realized that the township’s government and key non-profit organizations would also greatly benefit from this kind of information platform.
In today’s world, community and business leaders take having a website for granted, but in the early ‘90s there were no existing programs like WordPress to create such a thing. Everything in the web universe at that point was custom made. After two years of extensive research and development, Abidin created Moorestown.com, the very first web presence for the township’s schools and government. To get it off the ground he sought just enough in-kind sponsorship for photography and other needs, and financial sponsorship to support software and hosting service expenses. Once the website platform was launched, he broadened its scope by opening it up to local non-profits for free and to local businesses for a modest fee, hoping to interest at least six businesses. Dozens applied, and Moorestown.com bloomed into the township‘s major information resource.
Demand for Abidin’s services grew, and at the end of 1995 he began offering website building services through his new company, Global Information (GI). He got his family involved so his kids could experience aspects of technological development and gain business acumen, and it was a family enterprise until they went to college and began to chart their own career paths. At that point Abidin put GI on hold until he retired from Lockheed Martin, though he continued to maintain Moorestown.com for the township. Now that he has more time, GI has been revived and Abidin is taking new clients and specializing in ecommerce, automation, and dynamic data transactions.
Moorestown.com, Abidin’s brainchild and gift to the community continues to this day, and he still maintains it without taking a profit—but he didn’t limit his volunteer spirit to one project. Abidin has a long involvement with Moorestown Business Association and created its original website. He continues to provide ongoing technical support to the organization on a daily basis and has streamlined its new website for ease of use. He also donated his time to build the website for Sustainable Moorestown’s arts committee, Moorestown Creates.
When he’s not writing website code, Abidin has served as a volunteer for many other projects in town, including taking a leadership role in fundraising for Moorestown Community House which, along with the MBA, he considers one of Moorestown’s hidden gems. And though he avoids the limelight, he can often be seen helping with seasonal decorations on Main Street and is one of the go-to volunteers for community-wide events.
Moorestown Business Association initiated the Spotlight Award program to acknowledge members who have strengthened and enhanced the community. Randy Abidin exceeds this criteria and embodies the spirit of the award. The MBA Board considers Abidin one of Moorestown’s hidden gems, and is delighted to recognize him for putting the municipality on the information highway, and his dedication to continuously making the township a better place to live and work.
Photo: Randy Abidin and Steven Pazienza, MBA President. Photo credit: Tom Sheckels